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Horse Grooming 


 

horse grooming

As with any animal, a grooming routine is a chance for you to build a bond and grow closer together. It is also essentially and necessary for maintaining a high quality of life and proper care for your animals- of any size.

Tools You Will Need:
Curry Comb/ Grooming Mitt
Stiff Bristled Body Brush
Mane and Tail Comb (plastic is best)
Finishing Brush
Hoof Pick
Clean Sponge or Soft Cloth
Grooming Spray
Scissors
Clippers
Hoof Ointment if necessary

1. Begin by setting your container for your tools near enough that you can reach, but not so close that it can be kicked or tripped over. Securely fasten or tied your horse with either cross ties or a quick release knot. You will begin grooming your horse from the bottom up. Be prepared to be stepped on and possibly kicked as you go. Remember! A horse is a BIG animal.

2. Start from the ground up. Cleaning your horses hooves is where you will begin and it is important as sore feet can cause lameness and lameness can cause a myriad of other problems. Cleaning the hooves also gives you a chance to check for problems you might not otherwise notice. Begin by sliding your hand down the foreleg. Squeeze the back along the tendons, just above the pastern, and give the command your horse is used to responding to. Hold the hoof and use the hoof pick to pick or pry out any dirt, manure or other objects lodged in the frog or sole. Check for injuries, thrush, grease heel or other foot related problems and take note of any cracks so you can tell your farrier. Continue along until all four feet are done. Remember to set the feet down gently as you finish.

3. Your next step is to curry the coat. Begin on the left side and go from the neck to the back and down the legs. You will want to move the comb in a vigorous, circular motions. NOTE! Hips, shoulders, legs, belly, and inside the back legs tend to be very sensitive areas for horses. You will want to watch for signs of discomfort or irritation and adjust your touch as necessary. Be sure you also keep an eye out for any skin lesions or other wounds while you are currying. These will need to be treated.

4. Brush out your horses mane and tail. Begin at the bottom and brush out until one section is smooth and then move up until the entire tail and mane can be brushed in smooth strokes. Stand to the side when brushing the tail and pull it over you; this gets you out of the way should the horse kick. Grooming spray will help to detangle, create shine and protect the hair.

5. Take your body brush and briskly brush the dirt that was loosened by the curry comb. Begin on the left and move around the horse in sweeping strokes following the direction of the hair. The body brush is best for working on legs and while brushing them out check for lesions and irritations on the legs, knees and pasterns.

6. The finishing brush has shorter, softer bristles and therefore can be used on the face if you do not have a special brush. With gentle strokes, brush the dust away on the face and with sweet strokes on the body. This brush gives your horse a finished look and can be used in conjunction with grooming spray though not around the saddle area.

7. Use a damp sponge or cloth to clean the eyes and muzzle of any dirt or chaff. Note any excessive tearing, redness or swelling. Check the ears for lodged seed heads or dirt.

8. If necessary, apply hoof ointment, moisturizer, antibiotic ointments, fly spray or sunscreen.

 

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